Violent Repression Against Argentine Mapuche Fighting Benetton

Argentine security forces have detained 10 activists since the first attack Tuesday.

Two members of the Mapuche community in Cushamen, in the northeastern province of Chubut, Argentina, remain in a serious health condition Thursday after they were brutally attacked by the militarized police on Wednesday.

According to eyewitnesses, the militarized police broke in illegally without a court warrant, shooting at close range upon the crowd.

One of the injured had their jaw destroyed after a police officer shot him with a rubber bullet at point-blank range, while the other one suffered from multiple injuries to the skull, having been shot several times, and is now having difficulties speaking, according to witnesses.

Representatives of the community were heard by a court in the morning in a bid to address the situation of the seven people detained on Tuesday.

“Evidence of the repression against the Lof Mapuche Resistance. This is how Emilio was taken to the hospital. Down with repression!”

Argentina’s militarized police illegally shot activists with rubber bullets at point-blank range/Photo: Twitter – @Lavacatuitera

The police assault on Tuesday was formally allowed by the federal justice, and aimed at putting an end to the blockade of the railways of La Trochita train — blocking access to the lands recovered by the community.

“They were supposed to remove the barricades but instead, they destroyed everything, hit the women, mistreated the children and broke everything,” said Indigenous leader Soraya Maicoñia to Pagina 12.

“As for last night’s assault, on the other hand, it was completely illegal, they did not have any warrant. They came in in order to kill, they wanted to scare us. But we will fight for our land,”

The Pu Lof community started mobilizing in March 2015 in order to recover their ancestral lands occupied by transnational corporation Benetton.

The province’s Governor Mario Das Neves threatened communities with a “tough hand … up to the ultimate consequences.”

Other cities including Buenos Aires, Rawson, Bariloche and Mar del Plata are organizing protests in solidarity with the community.